August 17, 2022

Brighton Journal

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Nicholas still lacked votes in favor of the stock issuance plan opposed by founder Trevor Melton

Nicholas still lacked votes in favor of the stock issuance plan opposed by founder Trevor Melton

US Nikola CEO and founder Trevor Melton speaks during the presentation of his new all-electric battery and hydrogen fuel cell truck in partnership with CNH Industrial, at an event in Turin, Italy on December 2, 2019.

Massimo Pinca | Reuters

electric truck maker Nicola The company said on Monday again failed to win shareholder approval to raise new funds. This procedure has so far been blocked by the company’s departing founder.

In a brief webcast on Monday, Chairman Stephen Jersky said that while the vote on the proposal to issue new shares is closer than it was a few weeks ago, the proceeds are still shy of the 50% of outstanding shares needed to pass. The meeting was postponed to August 2.

Nikola shares were almost flat in post-closing trading after the meeting ended.

Nikola seeks to raise funds by issuing new shares, a process that requires shareholder approval. The company’s annual shareholder meeting on June 1 was postponed after its founder, former CEO and chairman, Trevor Melton, voted against the proposal. The meeting resumed briefly on June 30, just to be so postponed again Because the motion still did not have the votes to pass.

Milton leave the company Center fraud allegations in 2020, but he remains the largest shareholder in Nikola. He directly owns 11% of the company’s stock and controls about 9% more through a co-owned investment vehicle, giving him control of about 90 million Nikola shares.

In order for the New Shares Proposal to pass, 50% of Nikola’s outstanding shares must be voted in. As of July 18, the vote was within 0.5%, or less than 1.6 million shares, of its pass, Jersky said.

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Nikola is not in immediate danger of running out of cash, but the freedom to issue new shares will give him financial flexibility. Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady said in May that the company had enough cash on hand Financing its operations for at least another year. But he also noted that Nikola burns about $180 million each quarter, and then said an offer of shares was included in his plans later in 2022.

As of March 31, Nikola had $385 million in cash and another $409 million available via Tumim Stone Capital’s line of stock. It raised an additional $200 million by issuing convertible bonds in May.

Melton, who founded Nicola in 2015, left abruptly in September 2020 after his short-selling Hindenburg Research Company accused him of making false statements to investors about the company’s technology and order book.

Since then, a federal grand jury has indicted Milton Four counts of fraud Relate to statements he made to investors about Nicolas’ business. His trial is currently scheduled to begin in September. Milton denied the allegations.

Nikola will announce its second-quarter results before US markets open on August 4th.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct Kim Brady’s pronouns.